10 Things CEOs Are Doing to Stay Fit and Focused

On the heels of the shocking announcement last week that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been diagnosed with throat cancer, this is the perfect time to remind all CEOs of the importance of staying fit and healthy.

July 3 2014 by Lynn Russo Whylly


As company leaders, you spend a significant portion of your day sitting—at your desk, on the phone, in meetings, in cars, even on planes. It’s important to remember to get up out of those seats and move around. Equally as important as the physical benefits, being active keeps the brain sharp and reduces stress.

Here are 10 ways business leaders are powering up to power down.

1. Walking. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama are just some of the people who have made “walking meetings” famous. But some CEOs, like Terry Neal, CEO of Toledo, Ohio-based Impact Products, prefer to walk alone to reflect and power down after a busy day. “I try not to think about work or anything that needs my attention at the moment,” Neal says.

“Merryman loves racing cars. “The G forces on the body keeps me in shape and make my adrenaline go up and down so many times it burns calories.”

2. Working with his hands. Jim Merryman, President and COO of Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc., says that keeping his hands busy puts his mind in relax mode. “Since I have an engineering background, the physical exercise that keeps my mind sharp is fabricating things for myself and others. It can be as simple as a flower pot holder or as complex as a floating ramp for a boat dock or even a car part,” he says. “My full-time job requires such mental focus that it’s great to have physical, fun things to contrast that.”

3. Feeding the need for speed. Merryman also loves racing cars. “The G forces on the body keeps me in shape and make my adrenaline go up and down so many times it burns calories.”

4. Golf/tennis. Ninety percent of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf. Alan Mulally, former CEO of Ford, is a competitive tennis and golf player. These sports are just as much, if not more, for the business benefits, as they are for the exercise. As in Mulally’s case, they can also foster a CEO’s competitive spirit.

5. Outdoor/Nature Sports. Tyler Mobius, CEO of Adconion, says after a day at the office what he wants most is to get outdoors. He paddle surfs, runs trails, mountain bikes and rock climbs, according to Forbes. His secret to finding time for himself? “Getting less sleep.”